Where to Stay in Chicago First Time: Best Areas

In this post, I will help you to find where to stay in Chicago for first-time visitors and without a car? I will give you the list of best area to stay in Chicago for first-timers (with a map and video), best hotels in Chicago for all budgets (including the hotel where I stayed), and safest places.

As the third most populated city in the United States, Chicago is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The Windy City has plenty to see and do to keep any visitor entertained for days.

Known for its deep-dish pizza, food, vibrant arts scene, museums, amazing architecture, skyscrapers, and stunning views of Lake Michigan, Chicago is a city with endless attractions such as Cloud Gate (The Bean) and Navy Pier.

Chicago is generally safe city for tourists, but as in any big city, you should always take common sense and be aware of surrouding. It is to avoid West Garfield Park, East Garfield Park, Englewood, and Washington Park.

The Loop, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, and River North are some of the safest neighborhoods in Chicago for tourist. They are well-lit, well-populated, and heavily policed areas of Chicago.

Where to stay in Chicago first time?

The best areas to stay in Chicago for first-time tourists are The Loop, River North, Magnificent Mile, West Loop, and South Loop. These are popular neighborhoods, offering a wide range of accommodations for all budgets.

The Chicago Loop, without a doubt, is the best area to stay in Chicago for first-timers due to its central location and proximity to major attractions. If you stay here, you will be located in the heart of the city, within walking distance to the top sighs, bars, restaurants, and shops.

The Magnificent Mile is the best place to do shopping, packed with huge brand names and high-end stores. River North is the best base for nightlife, offering a wide variety of restaurants, bars, and music venues with food, culture, and entertainment from around the world.

Some of the best neighborhoods to stay in Chicago with kids are The Loop, River North, West Loop, South Loop, and Lincoln Park. These areas provides a range of family-friendly hotels and acitivities for children of all ages.

Chicago is very walkable city, you can easily explore on foot. Additionally, it has excellent public transportation networks, so you don’t need a car to get around. Taking a bus or train is much cheaper, faster than driving.

The Loop, River North, and West Loop are the best places to stay in Chicago without a car. You can easily get around on foot, by public transportations such as CTA train (L train), bus, bicycle, taxi, as well as shared ride services like Uber and Lyft.

Where did I stay in Chicago?

When I first visited Chicago, I stayed for 3 nights at Staypineapple, An Iconic Hotel, The Loop. The hotel has a super central location, an easy train ride from the airport, and also a short distance from the Riverwalk and Millennium Park. My room was comfortable, with nice views of the city.

💖 Best Area for first-timers:Chicago Loop
💎 Best luxury hotel:JW Marriott Chicago
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:LondonHouse Chicago, Curio Collection by Hilton 
💰 Best budget hotel:HI Chicago Hostel

Map of best areas and neighborhoods in Chicago:

Map of Best Areas to Stay in Chicago
Map of Best Areas to Stay in Chicago

How to get around Chicago as a first-time visitors?

Getting around Chicago as a first-timers without a car is very manageable, thanks to the city’s extensive public transportation system and various alternative transportation options. 

Here’s how to get around Chicago without a car:

Public Transportation:

The CTA operates buses and trains (known as the “L”) throughout the city. You can use the ‘L’ trains and buses to access most neighbourhoods and popular destinations. You can buy a Ventra card or use mobile payment options to pay for rides.


Chicago has an expanding network of bike lanes and bike-sharing programs like Divvy. You can rent a bike and explore the city at your own pace.


Chicago is a pedestrian-friendly city, especially in popular neighbourhoods like the Loop, River North, and Wicker Park. Walking is a great way to explore these areas and discover hidden gems.

Taxis and Rideshares:

Services like Uber and Lyft are widely available in Chicago. You can use these apps to request rides to your destination.


If you need to travel to the suburbs or farther regions of Chicagoland, Metra is a commuter rail system that serves the greater Chicago area.

Water Taxis:

For a unique experience, you can take advantage of water taxis that operate along the Chicago River, connecting various downtown locations.

Hop-On, Hop-Off Tours:

These tours are a convenient way to see many of the city’s attractions while getting around. They often have multiple stops at popular tourist destinations.


In the downtown Loop, you can also use the Pedway, an underground walkway system that connects various buildings and CTA stations. This can be especially useful in inclement weather.

Chicago is a big city with plenty to offer, and you can use a combination of public transportation, walking, biking, and rideshares, to explore the city efficiently.

Best areas to stay in Chicago for first-time tourists are:

1. The Chicago Loop

The Loop, for me, is the best place to stay in Chicago for first-timers. It is the most central area of Chicago downtown.The Loop is the central business district of Chicago.

It is one of the most iconic neighborhoods in the city, known for its bustling commercial and financial activity, and its architectural landmarks. The Loop is named after the elevated train tracks that form a loop around its boundaries.

The Loop is a hub for transportation in Chicago. The elevated train tracks that encircle the area are part of the “L” train system, operated by the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). Several major CTA train lines pass through the Loop, making it a great base in Chicago without a car.

It is home to some of Chicago’s most iconic buildings and skyscrapers such as the Willis Tower, Rookery Building, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and Marquette Building. The Willis Tower offers panoramic views across the city from its 103rd story viewing platform.

One of the best areas to stay in the Loop is around Michigan Avenue. The avenue stretches right through the city center and is lined with top attractions, plentiful shopping streets, and excellent dining venues. 

Michigan Avenue sits right between the bustling Theatre District and the beautiful Grant Park. Staying here will have you perfectly placed to explore the best the city has to offer, entirely at your convenience. 

If you love art, you will love this location. Michigan Avenue is surrounded not only by some of Chicago’s top art galleries and art institutes but also some of the best areas to spot street art.

The world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, and the Museum of Illusions are all located along this road. Meanwhile, the Wabash Arts Corridor is just around the corner and boasts some of the best street murals in the city.

And of course, you can’t discuss the art scene in Chicago without mentioning the iconic Cloud Gate. Located in Millennium Park, and affectionately known as The Bean, this huge metallic sculpture is one of the most well-known attractions in Chicago. 

Millennium Park is also home to Crown Fountain, Lurie Garden, and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. This hypermodern bandstand often hosts events and concerts such as Chicago Blues Festival and Chicago Jazz Festival, so it’s well worth checking if anything is planned during your visit. 

If you are more interested in architectural and engineering marvels, then the north of the region has plenty to offer you. The Chicago Architecture Foundation offers tours and exhibitions to help you appreciate the city’s development.

The east side of the Chicago Loop is dominated by the sprawling Grant Park, spanning along the banks of Lake Michigan, offering beautiful views over Monroe Harbour. It is also full of popular attractions including the beautiful Buckingham Fountain at its center. 

The Loop is also home to a pedestrian-only pathway Chicago Riverwalk where you can find many waterfront restaurants, Architecture Center, First Lady Cruises, McCormick Bridgehouse & River Museum.

The Loop has plenty of accommodation options that suit all budgets, from backpacker hostels to luxury hotels. Due to its popularity, the area can be noisy and crowded, especially at night.

Stay in Chicago Loop if It is your first time visiting Chicago; you want stay in a tourist-friendly and safe neighborhood; you travel without a car; You want to stay right in the heart of the city center.

Best places to stay in Chicago in The Loop:

luxury ($$$): JW Marriott Chicago, 5-star hotel, one of the best places to stay in the heart of Chicago for couples and families. It is located close to Monroe Public Transit stop with links to to several of Chicago’s most popular attractions. Featuring spacious rooms, spa, and private parking.

mid-range ($$): LondonHouse Chicago, Curio Collection by Hilton, 4-star family-friendly hotel located on Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River, within walking distance to major sights. It features a 24-hour fitness center, a rooftop bar, restaurant, and a car parking.

budget ($): HI Chicago Hostel, one of the best places to stay in Chicago on a budget, located in the South Loop, within walking distance from Lake Michigan, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Board of Trade Building, Willis Tower, Millennium Station, and Union Station.


2. West Loop

West Loop - West Town
The Robey hotel in West Town

West Loop is a vibrant multi-cultural neighborhood, located west of The Loop, seperated by the Chicago River. It is known for being full of high-quality restaurants serving cuisines from around the world, making it one of the best places to stay in Chicago for foodies.

The West Loop is often referred to as Restaurant Row due to its wide range of dining options. From upscale restaurants to casual eateries, you’ll find a diverse array of cuisines to choose from.

At the heart of the West Loop’s transformation is the Fulton Market District, which is known for its former meatpacking warehouses that have been converted into restaurants, tech offices, and galleries. It is also famous for its vibrant food scene, featuring numerous acclaimed restaurants, including many James Beard Award winners.

The West Loop’s multicultural heritage continues into Greek Town. Once the hub of Chicago’s Greek community it still boasts its cultural mark. Come here to find traditional Greek bakeries, restaurants, and tavernas, as well as the National Hellenic Museum.

Also, check out Little Italy for Italian cuisine. Other places of interest are the The French Market, Randolph Street Market, Arcade Emporium, Punch Bowl Social, Old St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, and Brooklyn Boulders.

If you are looking for live music venues to spend your evenings taking in the local music scene, head to Wicker Park. It is renowned for being a hub of exciting hospitality and nightlife.

Outside of Wicker Park, the area’s multicultural offerings continue through the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art and the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture

Humboldt Park in the west is a great place to escape from the press of the city for a while. With various sports fields, playgrounds, and gardens set around several ponds, it’s a lovely green space for locals and visitors to relax.

West Loop is also well-connected public transportation with the Ogilvie Transportation Center and Amtrak’s Union Station, making it one of the best areas to stay in Chicago without a car.

The area is well-connected to The Loop and The West Side on Green and Pink Line at Clinton L station. Additionally, you can easily reach O’Hare Airport by taking the Grand Blue Line. That not to mention, you can reach to the Brown, Orange, Pink, and Purple lines from Washington stop.

Stay in West Loop/West Town if you love food; You are on a budget; You love taking in lots of different cultures; Nightlife is an important aspect of your trip; you travel without a car;

Best places to stay in and around Chicago’s West Loop:

Luxury ($$$) Nobu Hotel Chicago, 5-star hotel that has an onsite restaurant, fitness center, indoor pool. It’s located in close to Oak Street Beach, Chicago Board of Trade Building, and CIBC Theatre.

Midrange The Robey ($$), 4-star hotel, located in the Wicker Park, within a short drive by car from the home of the Chicago Bulls – United Center, Lincoln Park Zoo, and Wrigley Field.

Budget ($) Hyatt House Chicago West Loop, 3-star hotel located near main sights such as United Center, Willis Tower, Chicago Board of Trade Building, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.


3. South Loop

South Loop is the area immediately south of the Chicago Loop. South Loop is best known for the Lakefront Museum Campus park that runs along the east of the neighborhood, making it one of the best locations in Chicafor for museum lovers.

The museum campus is home to the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Soldier Field Stadium, which is home to the Chicago Bears, the city’s NFL team.

Just a short walk away is the Adler Planetarium and Doane Observatory. Along with the aquarium, this area is a great place for an educational family day out.

The park overlooks a beautiful marina. Various street-food stalls around the park make this a lovely place for a picnic lunch with a view.

In addtition to museum, South Loop is also great base in Chicago tf you are planning to stay in Chicago for an event at The McCormick Place convention center, which is located in the south end of the district, close to the waterfront.  

This end of the South Loop is also where you will find Chicago’s Chinatown. Aside from being home to some of Chicago’s best Chinese restaurants, this is where you can find the Chinese American Museum of Chicago and the beautiful Nine-Dragon Wall.

Stay in South Loop if you want to stay close to the city center but outside of crowded downtown; you love museums; you are history buffs;

Best places to stay in Chicago South Loop:

  • mid-range ($$): Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, 4-star hotel, directly connected to the McCormick Place convention centre, a short drive from Chicago city centre.
  • mid-range ($$): Le Meridien Essex Chicago, 4-star hotel, ideally located within steps of the best Chicago experiences, within walking distance from Grant Park, Symphony Orchestra, and DePaul University
  • budget ($): Hilton Garden Inn Chicago, 3-star hotel, featuring a private parking, a shared lounge and a terrace.

4. River North

River North is the best area in Chicago to go for nightlife. It is a vibrant area located immediately north of the Chicago Loop, between Chicago River and the Magnificent Mile. River North has more nightlife scene compared to The Loop.

River North is famous for its vibrant nightlife scene, especially around Hubbard Street, wher eyou can find many lively bars, nightclubs, entertainment venues, and restaurants such as Three Dots and a Dash, The Bassment, and TAO Chicago,

River North has developed from an industrial district into a hub of high-end shopping, dining, and luxury accommodation.  One of the top attractions of River North is the Merchandise Mart.

It is the historic market and a hub of interior design showrooms and exhibition halls. Surrounded by a community of independent art studios, this is a must-visit for those who appreciate innovations in art and design.

Staying along the Magnificent Mile end of River North will grant you easy access to tons of nearby sights and attractions in the surrounding areas. 

The Navy Pier is a popular destination for families with children. Navy Pier is home to the Chicago Children’s museum, a 200ft Ferris wheel with stunning views of Chicago and Michigan Lake, and several lovely parks surrounding Ohio Street Beach. Perfect for a family day out. 

The Navy pier also hosts the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre where you can enjoy productions of various Shakespeare plays by local dramatists. 

The Chicago Riverwalk extends through River North, providing a scenic route for pedestrians to stroll along the riverbank. The Riverwalk offers beautiful views of the city skyline and is dotted with cafes, seating areas, and public art installations.

River North along with downtown Chicago is one of the safe area for tourist, there are plenty of police officers around.

Stay in River North if you want vibrant nightlife; You want to stay close to the city center; hotels with views over the Chicago River would be ideal; you want a safe area ; you travel without a car;

Best places to stay in Chicago in River North:

Luxury ($$$) Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, 5-star hotel offers spacious rooms, upscale amenities, private car parking. Located within walking distance from Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile, Wrigley Building, Millennium Station, Millennium Park, and Chicago Riverwalk.

Mid-range ($$): Eurostars Magnificent Mile, boutique hotel in the heart of Chicago, within a short walk from the Magnificent Mile. with its luxury shopping, dining and entertainment. It’s also close to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Navy Pier, and American Medical Association Headquarters.

Budget ($) Hyatt Place Chicago River North, downtown hotel, within walking distance from Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile, also a short ride from Navy Pier, Wrigley Field with its Chicago Cubs, and Millennium Park.


5. Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile (Mag Mile) is the stretch leading from downtown Chicago to the Gold Coast. It is Chicago’s premier luxury shopping district, lined with upscale boutiques, big-name brands, and trendy cafes, making it one of the best places to stay in Chicago for shopping.

In fact, there are so many stores vying for space here that they spill over into the surrounding streets. Neighboring Rush Street is particularly abundant, hosting huge designer brands like Prada.

The Magnificent Mile is also surrounded by some of the city’s best luxury hotels, so you can indulge as far as your budget will allow you.

The street is home to a big selection of popular tourist sights and historic locations. The Chicago Water Tower may sound like an odd place for tourists to visit. However, the beautiful 19th-century building is a unique and stunning example of Chicago’s extravagant architecture. 

The Chicago Water Tower and surrounding Jane M. Byrne Plaza are hosts to one of Chicago’s most unique art galleries. The interior host’s exhibitions feature the development and history of the city. 

Meanwhile, the plaza boasts a range of modern sculptures and installations. Visitors looking to indulge in the historical vibe can also enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride around it. 

If you love beautiful architecture and want to see, even more, you should head to the south end of Magnificent Mile, where you will find Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, and Du Sable Bridge. 

The Wrigley Building was built in 1924 and has been a centerpiece of Chicago’s architectural heritage ever since. The ornate building straddles an arched promenade lined with chic cafes and restaurants spilling onto the street. Its most striking feature is its 425ft clocktower.

Just across the street is the mighty Tribune Tower. Built in an opulent gothic style, it is a unique addition to Chicago’s catalogue of skyscrapers. It’s worth taking a close look at Tribune Tower to really appreciate all the intricate details of its design. 

Both the Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower overlook the iconic Du Sable Bridge. This beautiful iron drawbridge connects the Magnificent Mile across to the Chicago Loop, and the Chicago Architecture Centre sits just on the other side. 

For a more contemporary attraction, visit the famous John Hancock Centre at the northern end of the Magnificent Mile. 360 Chicago viewing platform on the 94th story offers stunning panoramic views, and a unique tilted glass lookout for more daring visitors to try.

The Magnificent Mile offers easy access to Oak Street Beach, which is a cozy little pocket of sand where you can enjoy relaxing and swimming in Michigan Lake. If you are visiting in summer, this is a particularly lovely area to take advantage of.

Stay in the Magnificent Mile if High-end shopping is a highlight of your vacation; You love beautiful architecture; You have a higher budget to work with.

Best places to stay in Chicago in Magnificent Mile:

luxury ($$$): Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, 5-star hotel offers spacious rooms with iconic views of Lake Michigan, the Chicago River, or the city skyline. It’s a 2-minute walk away from the famed shopping, dining and entertainment on Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile.

mid-range ($$): Eurostars Magnificent Mile, 4-star boutique hotel, 5 minutes’ walk from the luxury shops of the Magnificent Mile. Close to American Medical Association Headquarters, Blue Chicago, Water Tower Chicago, Shops at Northbridge.

budget ($): Fairfield Inn and Suites Chicago Downtown-River North Located within 5-minute walk from the banks of the Chicago River and the luxury shops of Michigan Avenue.


7. Old Town

The Old Town is a historic area between Lincoln Park and River North. If you are wondering where to stay in Chicago to best appreciate the history of the city, this is your best bet. 

The Old Town is a treasure trove of Victorian Architecture. Just walking through the charming backstreets will give you a sense of what life was like back in Chicago’s early years. 

Old Town celebrates its heritage by maintaining a uniquely old school feel to its local businesses. Here you will find lots of small boutiques, independent cafes, and family-run restaurants and bars. You can check out Second City Theater and Old Town Pour House in this area.

Many of the oldest buildings in the area were destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, but a few still remain. St Michael’s Church is one of those that survived, so it is worth visiting to see some architecture from the founding of Chicago. 

For a more in-depth look into Chicago’s development, you can visit the Chicago History Museum. Located at the south-eastern corner of Lincoln Park, the museum hosts various exhibits, displays, and events focused on local history and architecture. 

Stay in The Old Town if you want to appreciate the history of Chicago; you love historical architecture; you don’t mind being a little way outside of the modern city center.

Best places to stay in Chicago in Old Town:

budget ($): The Sono Chicago, great bed and breakfast in Chicago’s Old Town, offering free parking for those travel with a car. Close to Lincoln Park Zoo.

budget ($$$) Hotel Lincoln, 4-star hotel, located within walking distance from the Lakefront Trail with beach, Lincoln Park Zoo, Second City, and Lincoln Park Conservatory.


See more: Where to stay in Chicago without a car

8. Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park along with The Loop and River North is one of the safest neighborhood to stay in Chicago. The Lincoln Park is an upscale area, located a short way north of downtown Chicago, so it’s ideal if you want to stay close to the downtown area but out of the crowded city center. 

One of the best attractions in Lincoln Park is the eponymous Lincoln Park Zoo. Set in beautiful gardens, the zoo is free of charge. Excellent for a family day out, even if you are sticking to a budget. 

Lincoln Park Zoo hosts an interactive farm in addition to its many exhibits of exotic animal species. Combined with its education pavilion and various historic monuments and art installations, Lincoln Park Zoo makes for a perfect, educational day trip for the whole family.

Just north of Lincoln Park Zoo is the Lincoln Park Conservatory. This huge glass greenhouse is home to Chicago’s botanical gardens. Visitors can enjoy wandering through displays of thousands of exotic plants, often with seasonal exhibitions and events.

A short way west of Lincoln Park you can find the much smaller Oz Park. Both the park and attached playground are themed around The Wizard Of Oz, making for a fun little side trip for those visiting with children.

Between Lincoln Park and Lake Michigan sits North Avenue Beach. This popular family beach is perfect for relaxing on the sand. Alternatively, you can hire a boat or jet ski and head out onto the calm waters of Lake Michigan.

You can also visit Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago History Museum, The Steppenwolf Theater Company, St. Michael’s Church, and Theatre on the Lake.

As one of Chicago’s fancier neighborhoods, the area is home to some very high-quality restaurants. There are even a few restaurants within Lincoln Park itself, including right up against the waterfront. If you want to dine with beautiful views of both the park and Lake Michigan, you’re in luck.

Lincoln Park is the best area to stay in Chicago if you are a family traveling with children; you want to stay in a more upscale neighborhood; you want to stay in a safe area;

Best places to stay in Chicago in Lincoln Park:

  • mid-range ($$): Villa D’ Citta, 4-star modern hotel, located in the heart of Lincoln Park’s shopping and dining district. Each romantic guest room is equipped with free WiFi.
  • mid-range ($$) Hotel Versey Days Inn by Wyndham Chicago, 4-star boutique hotel located Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.
  • budget ($): Chicago Getaway Hostel, great backpacker accomodations, located in Lincoln Park and is a few blocks from the Fullerton subway station.

8. Theatre District

Theatre District, good base for theatre and performance art
Virgin Hotels Chicago in Theatre District

If you are planning to stay in Chicago to take advantage of the city’s world-class theatre and performing arts scene, then you will most likely want to stay in the Theatre District.

The Theatre District is located in the heart of the downtown area, at the north end of the Chicago Loop. Aside from being perfectly placed to enjoy shows at the various theatres in the area, you will also be right in the center of the city and surrounded by various popular attractions. 

The Chicago Theatre is of course the most iconic theatre in the area. Notable for its distinct 1920’s style, as much as for its top-quality performances, The Chicago Theatre is a must-visit for any theatre lovers visiting the city. 

Of course, a show is only the main course of a night out at the theatre. A thriving theatre district must also be full of bars and restaurants to keep you entertained both before and after your show. 

Chicago’s theatre district is no exception. You will find plenty of venues to wine and dine throughout the evening. Ranging from laid-back cafes and hole-in-the-wall bars to upscale rooftop restaurants, you will find something to suit all budgets. 

Stay in the Theatre district if you love theatre and performance art; you want to stay at the heart of the city center.

Best places to stay in the Theatre district:


9. Lakeview

Lakeview is a residential suburb immediately north of Lincoln Park. Quite removed from the hustle and bustle of the city center, this neighborhood is ideal for anyone looking for somewhere quieter to escape the crowds. 

As it is quite far removed from the city center and many of Chicago’s main attractions, I would not suggest this area if it is your first time visiting the Windy City. Likewise, if you are planning to stay in Chicago for a shorter visit, Lakeview is not the most convenient location to maximize your time. 

Lakeview is perfect if you are looking to experience a more local, everyday side of Chicago. As a residential neighborhood, the cafes and restaurants are largely family-run and cater to the locals rather than tourists. 

One of the loveliest areas of Lakeview is around Belmont Harbour. The sheltered bay is home to a small marina surrounded by a leafy park. Wandering along the walking trails whilst watching the boats drift around the harbor makes for a very relaxing afternoon stroll. 

You can also check out Broadway and Chicago Music Exchange, and Wrigley Field baseball stadium in this area.

Stay in Lakeview if You’re looking for a quiet neighborhood to experience everyday life in suburban Chicago; It is not your first time visiting Chicago.

Best places to stay in Lakeview:


10. O’Hare International Airport & Midway International Airport

Staying near Chicago airport
The Rose Chicago near the airport

The main airport for Chicago is the O’Hare International Airport, located several miles northwest of the city center. You also have Midway International Airport, but more popular with domestic flights, it is 11 miles from the city center.

If you are only looking to stay in Chicago for a stopover between flights, then you are in luck, with dozens of hotels to choose from in the immediate area. With prices ranging from high-end to budget, you will be sure to find something to suit your price range and comfort preference.

Whilst I wouldn’t recommend staying here if you want to go into the city center, there are still some ways to keep entertained on longer stopovers. There are plenty of restaurants in the area if you prefer to just relax with a drink and a meal. Many of the hotels have onsite bars and restaurants. 

The Schiller Woods Nature Reserve, immediately east of O’Hare Airport, makes for a lovely place to take a walk. Various trails lead through the trees and around the lakes, letting you stretch your legs as you wait for your flight. 

Best places to stay in O’Hare International Airport:

Best places to stay in Midway International Airport:


Where should I stay in Chicago for the first time?

Chicago Loop is the best place to stay in Chicago for first-time travelers due prime location. If you stay here, you will be located in the heart of the city, within easy access to sights, as well as restaurants, bars, and shops.

What are the best areas to stay in Chicago for tourists?

Chicago Loop, West Loop, South Loop, River North, Magnificent Mile, Old Town, Lincoln Park, and Theatre District are the best areas to stay in Chicago because they are the most popular areas for tourists that offer a wide range of attractions and amenities.

Where to stay in Chicago for families with kids?

Some of the best areas to stay in Chicago with kids are The Loop, River North, West Loop, South Loop, and Lincoln Park. These areas offer a wide range of family-friendly accommodations and attractions for children of all ages.

Where to stay in Chicago for couples?

The Loop, River North, Magnificent Mile, West Loop, South Loop, and Lincoln Park are some of the best places to stay in Chicago for couples. These neighborhoods offer plenty of things to do and see for a romantic getaway.

Where is the safest place to stay in Chicago?

The Loop, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, and River North are the safest area to stay in Chicago for tourists, but it is recommended to always practice common sense and be aware of petty crimes. 

Where not to stay in Chicago?

You should avoid West Garfield Park, East Garfield Park, Englewood, and Washington Park because they have high crime rates. Downtown Chicago is safe for tourists to book a stay.

Where to stay in Chicago without a car?

The Loop, River North, and West Loop are the best place to stay in Chicago without a car due to its well-connected public transport system and walkability. You can easily travel by CTA trains, buses, bicycles, Ubers, Lyfts, and taxis.

Where to stay in Chicago with a car?

Most hotels in the Downtown area offer parking with a fee around 50$/night. If you are looking for a hotel with free car parking in Chicago, look into the Ohio House Motel in River North.

See more:

In conclusion, The Loop, River North, Magnificent Mile, West Loop, South Loop, and Lincoln Park are some of the best places to stay in Chicago for tourists. They offers plenty of things to do and see for all visitors, couples, and families with kids of all ages.

Overall, Chicago Loop is the best area to stay in Chicago for first-time travelers due to its prime location. If you book a hotel here, you will be located in the middle of action, within walking distance to top attractions, as well as many shopping, dining, and nightlife venues.

About Author: Linda Smith

I'm Linda Smith, the Hotel Expert, an experienced travel blogger who passionate about traveling. I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I cover a wide range of travel topics, specializing in sharing information about the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels in each city. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

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